September 17, 2018

Parshat Ha’azinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52) By Rabbi Avi Strausberg When my wife and I were developing the language of our ketubah, a rabbi offered us an important piece of advice: think seriously about the people who you choose as witnesses for your ketubah. If and when, 5, 10, 20 years down the line, things become difficult in your marriage, should you begin acting toward one another in ways that are hurtful, thoughtless, perhaps even cruel, these are the people that will remind… Read more

September 12, 2018

The Days of Repentance By Rabbi Micha’el Rosenberg Years ago, while walking back to my college dorm room from Kol Nidrei services, I was shocked to hear my roommate—fresh off all of the confessions and regret that are baked into the Yom Kippur liturgy—use a word not fit to print in the virtual pages of Seventy Faces. With all the self-righteousness of a 20-year old, I called him out on it: “It’s Yom Kippur night! Is this how you want… Read more

September 5, 2018

Parashat Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20) By Rabbi Elisha Herb The people stand at Sinai as would-be converts to the Torah covenant, long since created in the mystical realms but yet to be received by the people Israel. The Torah tells us, it is “…not only with you that I make this covenant and this oath, but with [1] those who are standing here with us this day before the LORD our God and [2]those who are not with us here this… Read more

August 21, 2018

Parashat Ki Tetzei  (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19) By Rabbi Avi Killip My summer began at a panel conversation about “What Feminist Torah Needs to Look Like.” Professor Judith Plaskow, a gadol (one of the greats!) in the field, challenged the 300 people in the room to not skip over the difficult parts of Torah in our teaching and sermons: “There is so much richness in the Torah that it is easy in any specific instance to look away from the parts that… Read more

August 14, 2018

Parashat Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9) By Rabbi Jane Kanarek “Imma, you’re not being fair!” complains my eldest son as he fights with his middle brother over who gets to choose stickers first. “Imma,” says my middle son, “you always let him choose first!” “Work it out!” interjects their father. “I want them first,” chimes in the youngest. It is a classic parental dilemma: do I make the judgment about who gets the stickers first or do I wait and let them… Read more

August 7, 2018

Parshat Re’eh (Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17) By Rabbi Shira Shazeer I may have been at summer camp the first time I heard the story, attributed to the itinerant Rabbi Haim of Romshishok, of the difference between heaven and hell. Reb Haim, the story goes, had the opportunity to visit the world to come, and was brought first to see hell. There, he observed banquet tables laden with food, surrounded by people clearly suffering from hunger. On closer inspection he could see that the… Read more

July 30, 2018

Parashat Eikev (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) By Rabbi Daniel Klein, Rab`10, MJEd`10 “In L.A., nobody touches you. We’re always behind this metal and glass. I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something.” (Paul Haggis’ Crash) With these opening lines, the movie Crash captures a truth about the human condition – we need each other. For practical, emotional, spiritual reasons and more, we are meant to be in relationship. The Bible… Read more

July 24, 2018

Parashat Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:27-7:11) By Rabbi Jim Morgan, Rab`08 Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.  – James Baldwin Nearly seventy years after its publication, Ralph Ellison’s masterpiece, The Invisible Man, continues to resonate with our nation’s continued experience of race, violence, and blindness. The horrifying scene of white cop murdering an unarmed black man, Brother Tod Clifton, finds echoes in too many American places, as does the almost perverse… Read more

July 17, 2018

Parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22) By Rabbi Minna Bromberg “Kyewwwwww!” my nearly two-and-a-half year old daughter shrieks as she grabs hold of the object of her desire and lifts it high above her head. It is purple and spongy and covered in red polka dots and it is, in fact, a capital letter Q. To say that “Q” is her favorite letter would not be quite accurate. “Q” is actually, as far as I can tell, the only letter she knows…. Read more

July 10, 2018

Starting Points & Destinations on our Journeys (Parashat Massei, Numbers 33:1-36:13) By Cantor Ken Richmond A middle school history teacher once asked my class why people immigrate; our suggestions all fell under her simple overarching answer, that people immigrate in search of a better life. Almost all Americans, the Jewish community included, are descendants of immigrants; many of us have stories of how our families came to the United States. My Zayda, Sol (Shleime Zalmen) Richmond, was born in the… Read more

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